Recipe: My Green Kitchen by Neena Truscott & Belinda MacDonald, Bateman, RRP $39.99
Photography: Belle Photography – Neil Gussey
This is a wonderful Mediterranean dish with flavours of late summer. It’s great for entertaining friends as it can be made ahead of time, so you can relax while the house starts to smell of a warm Sicilian holiday — ahhh, bliss!
Lime & Caper Vinaigrette
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp capers
1½ tbsp pure maple syrup
handful of fresh basil or coriander
5 tbsp lime-infused avocado oil
Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggplants, halved lengthways
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra to brush
2 tbsp sultanas or raisins, optional
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup chopped basil leaves, plus extra to serve
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted, plus extra to serve
pinch of cayenne pepper or dried chilli flakes, optional
150g halloumi, grated
pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
Make the vinaigrette by mixing ingredients together either by hand or in a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Carefully score the eggplant flesh without cutting into the skin.
Combine the cumin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brush over the eggplant. Transfer the eggplant, flesh-side up, to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 30–40 minutes until soft and golden. Cool slightly.
Using a spoon, scoop out the eggplant flesh, leaving 1 cm of flesh still attached to the skin. Chop the cooked eggplant flesh and combine with the remaining olive oil, sultanas, lemon juice, basil, pine nuts, cayenne pepper and most of the grated halloumi (reserve a little to sprinkle on top).
Spoon the mixture into the eggplant and top with reserved halloumi and a little cinnamon. Bake for about 10–15 minutes until gloriously golden and slightly charred.
Scatter over extra pine nuts and torn basil leaves and slosh with the vinaigrette. Serve with extra garden salad, if desired.
TIP: This lime and caper vinaigrette is absolutely delicious sloshed over pan-fried halloumi or fresh fish, or drizzled over a ripe tomato salad.